Benefit Predictive Assessments

There are plenty of assessments that are validated for other purposes. Many of these can be categorized as Style or Type assessments. This group of assessments are most often used for team building, identifying a person’s leadership style, behavioral style or type, communication style and perhaps his/her sales style. It is important to understand that while these are very good things to measure, a person’s style or type may not be a factor in determining job performance.

We have all witnessed the consultant who has attempted to convince his/her client that his/her assessment has credibility. They will say the assessment has been given to a similar group of workers, the scores have been calculated and a benchmark created. Be careful of this approach! That average or benchmark means nothing. It is the average of the best, the average and the below average. It does not mean it predicts job success.

Since becoming certified in identifying, understanding and appreciating behavior in the mid 70’s it has become agonizingly apparent to me that attempting to hire a job candidate on behavior alone is courting disaster.

A person’s behavioral type or style, by itself, is not a valid indicator of his/her potential for success in a specific job. There are many tools in use that predict behavior in a general or overall sense, but they do not predict job performance or are they job related. For an assessment to predict the potential for job success they must be validated against job performance.

So, does this mean you can’t use personality assessments to predict the potential for job success? Not at all! But, you will need to use personality assessments that were designed for the selection process. The assessment must be job related and validated against a given job and the performance required to be successful in that job.

This will almost always eliminate the use of Ipsative assessments for selection purposes. This type of assessment uses the Most – Least word descriptor approach to identify a person’s personal preferences. It can provide insight into the person him/herself, but not validated information to be used to make a selection decision. This type of assessment does not provide the necessary or right type of information to do a true validation study.

Good assessments consist of measuring the factors that contribute to job success. These factors are obtained by psychologists conducting well-constructed job studies to determine the personality traits that contribute to job success. They gather data of on the job performance for top and bottom performing job incumbents, along with collecting performance ratings of supervisors and managers and production in the case of salespeople.

Why collect data for a validation study on top and bottom performers? Good question! A well-validated assessment should have the ability to predict potential success, as well as the potential for job failure.

This is why a “one test fits all” mentality comes into question. Different jobs have different success patterns. One test cannot come close to measuring the varied and numerous traits and abilities necessary to perform a given job successfully.

Don’t be fooled or talked into “benchmarking” your top 5-10 performers. They are good compared to what? What if your top producers looked exactly like your bottom producers? Was the benchmark valid, did it predict success? Maybe and maybe not! Benchmarking only your top performers is a formula for EEOC disaster.

Yet, a client will say, “I want to test my top performers and create an average, so I can hire more people that look like the average of my top performers.” That’s not a good idea. Averages can mask the differences between co-workers. In a recent article, benchmarking was described by saying, “If you averaged the athletic ability of all the members of the top professional team and compared that to the average of the bottom professional team in the league, you would see very few differences.

Both numbers may be fun, intellectual exercises, but tell you nothing about test scores and performance.” A good validity study will demonstrate that high scores match high performance and low scores match low performance. That’s validity, developing averages is not validity.

So, what counts in using personality assessments in the selection process? What contributes to success on the job must be identified, defined and measured.

Once those steps have been completed a true study of the top and under performers in the job in question can begin. Typically, psychologists collect data on a minimum of 150 individuals and as high as 300 or more. Assessment scores are collected, along with performance ratings for each group and the results are statistically analyzed.

For the assessment to predict success on the job there must be a mean difference between the test scores and performance ratings. Without being able to correlate assessment scores with performance an assessment is not useful in the selection process. It is wise to use an assessment developed specifically for selection to use in your hiring process.

How do I have a validation study conducted for a job in my organization?

First, you can use assessments that have already been validated for jobs that are similar to jobs in your organization. This allows you to begin using validated assessments without having to make a large investment of money.

The second method is for you contract with a reputable psychological firm to conduct your in-house validation study mentioned earlier in this article.

I often hear the question, “Are assessments legal?” The short answer is, yes! When you compare your present process of mostly subjective interview techniques and the lack of a structured interview process to avoid what is called a “soft interview.” This is where candidates for the same job are asked different questions by the interviewers. Interview questions that are not criterion and face validated. And hiring to jobs that do not have defined job requirements.

Compare those legal issues to an assessment where the job has been well researched and defined. Assessments where validation studies conducted by licensed psychologists have identified the personality traits that contributes to success in the job. Assessments that have been constructed to identify those personality traits contributing to job success and predict the candidate’s probability of success on the job.

Tips To Hire Millennials

My hiring research using pre-employment tests and in-depth interviews reveals common negative comments about hiring Millennials is like the Yogi Berra phrase: “It’s like déjà vu all over again!” Yes, I notice managers and publications express panic, concern, and disdain for Millennials.

Observation: The criticisms and complaining about Millennials is essentially the exact same criticisms and complaining people expressed about all other Generations. This includes Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y, Millennials, and any other so-called “generation” with a cute label.

RESEARCH ON HOW TO HIRE THE BEST

In my research to help companies hire terrific employees, I always custom-tailor pre-employment tests. To scientifically custom-tailor benchmark pre-employment test scores, I have the company test some of its best employees in each job. I call those employees “superstars.” These terrific employees have two important factors: They are both
1. Highly Productive
2. Low Turnover

When I test superstar employees to create custom-tailored benchmark pre-employment test scores, I NEVER ask for nor find out nor take into account any personal or genetic data, including if the person is in Millennial generation. I only use pre-employment assessment or test data that is (a) factual and work-related, and (b) not related to non-work-related factors.

Results: Superstar employees are successful in their jobs, regardless of whether they are Millennials or Generations X or Y or Z or Baby Boomers!

EXAMPLE 1: HIRING WONDERFUL SALES REPS

For example, let’s say a company wants to test job candidates so it can hire terrific, superstar Sales Reps.

First, I benchmark pre-employment personality and intelligence test scores of the company’s best Sales Reps who are both highly productive and also low turnover.

My research often (but not always) finds superstar Sales Reps get high test scores on six personality traits:
* Money Motivation
* Motivation to Follow-Up
* Friendliness
* Teamwork
* Self-confidence
* Optimism

Also, I sometimes discover a company’s best Sales Reps also get high scores on three intelligence test scales:
* Problem-Solving or Reasoning Ability
* Arithmetic or Math Ability
* Ability to Handle Small Details

Notice: A person of any generation, age, or gender can get high test scores on those six personality test scales and three intelligence test scales. Job applicants who get high scores on those nine pre-hire test scales can be members of the Millennial or any generation!

EXAMPLE 2: HIRING GREAT BLUE-COLLAR WORKERS
Another example: Let’s say a company wants to test applicants so it can hire productive, low-turnover blue-collar workers, such as Warehouse Worker.

For blue-collar pre-employment testing, I use two tests: (1) dependability or reliability test and (2) intelligence or mental abilities tests.

I start by having the company’s best, superstar Warehouse Workers take the pre-employment tests. From that, I statistically find the benchmark or typical test scores of the company’s best, highly productive, low turnover Warehouse Workers.

Recently, I did this with a company, and found its best Warehouse Workers got high dependability or reliability test scores on six measures
* Honesty
* Work Ethic
* Thinking First (not being Impulsive)
* Not Stealing
* Not Being Substance Abuser
* Ability to Handle Small Details

They also got average scores on two intelligence test scales:
* Arithmetic or Math Ability
* Ability to Handle Small Details

Notice: Any Millennial can get these pre-employment test scores. The age or generation of the applicant has nothing to do with whether or not an applicant gets pre-employment test scores similar to that company’s superstar Warehouse Workers or other employees.

RECOMMENDATIONS TO HELP YOU HIRE TERRIFIC MILLENNIAL EMPLOYEES
First, on pre-employment tests, do research to make custom-tailored benchmarks based on your company’s best, superstar employees in each job.

For white-collar jobs, use personality tests and work-related intelligence tests.

For blue-collar jobs, use dependability (reliability) tests plus work-related intelligence tests.

Test superstars in each job who are both
1. highly productive
2. low turnover.
From that benchmark testing, statistically determine custom-tailored benchmark test scores for each job in your company.

Second, have job candidates take the pre-employment tests or assessments.

When an applicant’s pre-employment test scores are within the benchmark test scores, you should seriously consider hiring that person, regardless of whether the person is a Millennial or of any other generation.

But, if an applicant’s test scores fall outside your custom-tailored range of benchmark test scores, you should go find better applicants who have work-related qualities more similar to your highly productive, low turnover employees.

Focus on hiring person who objectively has work-related qualities similar to your best employees. Do not take into account the so-called generation of the applicant.

This scientific hiring method makes it irrelevant if the applicant is a Millennial. So, you are wise to use custom-tailored pre-employment tests and other screening methods in your quest to hire good employees who are both highly productive + low turnover!

Bullies On Work Environment

Obviously, bullies cannot work alone. A triad exists when bullies are present in the work environment, and the triad consists of the bully, the victim, and the bystander. All three groups represent an insidious discontent that overshadows positive efforts to develop a healthy workplace culture. Additionally, when bullies are left to their own devices, victims and bystanders begin mimicking the abuser, which further degrades the workplace environment. Finally, toxic environments create health and wellness issues that increase health-care costs and wreak havoc on retention of talent and brand knowledge. Absenteeism and accident and injury are also likely to be issues when a bully is in the workplace. For example, depression, role clarity, stress, burnout, and fatigue are just a few of the symptoms that finally become part of the demise of the organizational culture when the bully is left unchecked.

Bullies can be found in every organization and level of operation, and bullying can result in behaviors that range from being openly hostile to discreetly manipulative. Women are bullied more often than men, and women-to-women bullying is more common than men bullying other men. Bullies are more likely to be found in management, and they tend to create an infrastructure of bully-like controls so that the fortress they create can be maintained as they continue to pillage other peaceful areas in the workplace. The infrastructure may consist of faulty performance review processes, unrealistic employee goal setting and promoting a culture of faultfinding and distrust. Also, administrators often see the bully as an internal misfit, but bullies may also work outside of the organizational structure to reduce external customer satisfaction and investor confidence.

Victims waste time at work and at home building a defense against the abuse, politicking for support, and just running scenarios in their mind trying to form a corrective plan of action. Behaviors such as these interfere with productivity and employee motivation and eventually leave the employee with a sense of diminished self-efficacy and self-worth. Additionally, innovation in the workplace suffers because creative energies are redirected to meet unmet needs and to protect marginalized victims. Victims are known to create silo mentalities where information and resources are hidden to reduce the chance of interference from the bully. Silo mentalities are behaviors that are great time wasters for other more productive teams because of the restricted communication that it creates between departments, divisions, and partnerships.

Bystanders comprise the largest percentage of the workforce when it comes to the tyrannical destruction and rantings of the bully. Bystanders see the injustice that occurs when bullies are present in the workplace, and they often begin to distrust the organizational culture and purpose. After all, bullies are sometimes rewarded for their behavior, promoted, or ignored and left to operate as the status quo. A reward process based on bullying creates a misguided blueprint for otherwise mission-driven employees to follow in their efforts to climb a rather explosive ladder to the top. It is important to realize that bystanders are the voice of the organization and will reveal a company’s true level of organizational wellness to potential candidates, customers, vendors, and competing industries.

Did you hire a bully? Understanding the dynamics of the workplace bully and the interaction of the bully triad will help with management and the prevention of bullies in the workplace.

All About Talent Acuquisition

In the recent years, talent acquisition has undergone major changes. With the growing popularity of online job sites, it has become easier to seek talent. But it has made recruitment a more comprehensive process as applicants are becoming more divided across the web. Though every other company is using social media or online job site as tool to recruitment in today’s increasingly competitive talent industry but it is becoming tougher to get a response from candidates. So what should a hiring manager like you do to succeed? The answer lies in getting updated with the latest trends in talent acquisition. This will not only let you develop the best recruiting strategies but also help you hire the best talent in the industry.

• Enhance candidate engagement and experience

Recruiting has evolved more as a transactional process rather than being impersonal. Thanks to the rise of internet andonline job sites. Applicants appreciate interaction, transparency and interpersonal communication in the hiring process. They are active and go through the content written about the company before applying to the job.

• Employer branding strategies

Optimising your employer branding skill is a must to funnel the best talent to your organisation. Follow an honest approach and share the top employer profiles and content related to the work culture of your organisation.

• Make use of technology

The concept of manual labour has been completely eradicated with the use of technology. Online portals have been proved as a blessing to find the best talent in the industry. These technologies can help recruiters to stores profiles and other crucial information, give time to connect with the candidates and also aid in developing a strong talent pipeline for the company.

• Use trending marketing tactics to target applicants

With applicants dispersed across social media, you need to incorporate multi-channel approach to reach out the desired candidates. Screening and engaging with your clients become indispensable in order to find the best talent. If you want to captivate the attention from candidates, you need to evolve your content strategy. Creating videos of success stories, projects, work culture, using impressive formats such as blogs and e-books are some of the appealing steps to arrest the attention.

Online job portals play a major role in talent acquisition. These online job sites have revolutionized the recruitment landscape increasing the efficiency of the hiring process. Candidates can easily find jobs online through numerous online sites that are available round the clock. You will certainly understand the significance of online job portals after knowing its few benefits-

  • The major benefit of online job portals is that they are cost-effective. You can search and apply jobs online without paying any fee.
  • One of the amazing features of the online job portal is to maintain confidentiality of the job seekers.
  • Online job portals offer you a sea of endless jobs.
  • Provide facility of regular job notification.

There is also a paradigm shift in the way employers have started recruiting talent. The credit goes to the value, efficacy and easy-to-use online job portals. In the quest of skilled candidates, online job portal has become and inevitable part of the hiring process. The benefits of online job portals to employers-

  • E-recruitment allows for immediate real-time interaction and 24*7 hiring activity that in turn saves time.
  • Posting jobs and searching for candidates on job sites save cost-of-hire.
  • Online job portals provide wider reach for employers.
  • Offer state-of-the-art filtration tools.
  • Allow employers to use sophisticated management tools to submit jobs online.
  • Allows for confidentiality.
  • Employers can save profiles of prospective candidates for future use.

Online job portals have only made it possible for employers to hire and job seekers to search for jobs in short time span. Due to the internet penetration ever skyrocketing and need of professional mobility, this medium is definitely here to stay.

Tips To Get Out From Tough Times

There is an old fable from the mid-1800’s some of us learned as children-it always intrigued me. The fable is called The Emperor’s New Clothes and the moral of the story is centered around the acceptance of harsh honesty.

The story is about an emperor who loved nothing more than fine clothes. Knowing this, a couple of swindlers come to town and offered to make him the finest suit of all time, free of charge, but then only those who are worthy of their posts in his court – and those who are intelligent enough – will be able to see them.

As the clothes are being made, the emperor sends in several trustworthy and highly intelligent people to examine them. Though none of them could see any fabric or patterns, because there was nothing to see, none of them would admit they had seen nothing – none of them wanted to be deemed unworthy or unintelligent.

When the clothing is finished, the emperor’s trustworthy and highly intelligent people pretend to dress him in his fine new suit for his processional throughout the town. Also, knowing the precedence that had been set regarding those who are able to see the clothes, everyone in town commented on how beautiful the emperor’s new clothes were. It wasn’t until a child in the crowd shouted out that the emperor was naked that others joined in his obvious observance. The emperor, knowing that the crowd was right in their chants, continued with the processional and pretended to be wearing fine clothes.

For the most part – as I have grown to take on various leadership roles throughout my career – I’ve been surrounded by genuine, forthcoming people who felt comfortable enough to tell me when I wasn’t actually wearing the “suit.” It may not have always been what I wanted to hear, but it was what I needed to hear. That acceptance of harsh honesty has saved me from dozens of scenarios where I may have been at risk of falling victim to my own disbelief.

When we consent to the positions of leadership that are bestowed upon us, it is often a struggle within ourselves – and with others – to know that we do not have all of the answers. After all, we have been put in these positions due to our intellect and trustworthiness – the same reasons the emperor had appointed people to his court.

Our internal struggle is mostly with that of our ego, because as leaders, everyone expects us to lead – whether verbally or by example – motivate our teammates, command their attention, and control their focus. We, as leaders, must dig deep and challenge our teammates to think differently, act differently and above all else, perform differently.

In the moments when we’re acknowledged for our accomplishments, we are praised for those acts of leadership. So as we shoulder these responsibilities and expectations as leaders, we must also shoulder and control the burden of our inflated ego.

Thinking back to the story of the emperor, had the people surrounding him not been afraid of the results of their honesty, he may have avoided such public embarrassment. Those surrounding him would have faired better had they given him the harsh honesty up front. Regardless of setting – whether a boardroom or a town processional – we all must be open to the truth, open to the reality of being told we’re “naked.”

Sometimes, that harsh honesty will come at the expense of sensitivity, political correctness, relationships, or the egos of our leaders, but are those expenses more costly than other tradeoffs like progress and high performance? I think you’ll find the answer to be, in fact, no.

Take Action: Don’t be that Emperor… be open to honesty today by creating an atmosphere of truth telling.

A Good Leadership

Companies spend a lot of time and money trying to identify “good fit” during their hiring process. Candidate selection is driven by the magical, mystical notion of making a good fit decision.

Clearly, the first step usually involves matching job description requirements with the candidate’s stated background experience. Right away, the matching process starts to break down because so much screening is now contingent on keyword matching, and not much else.

Even if resume screening works well, the next step takes the candidate through an interview process. Here’s where it really gets fun.

First, well-coached candidates can ace interviews while really not bringing much value to the company. Poorly trained hiring managers, who only occasionally may conduct interviews, (i.e. it’s not their full-time job) do not possess the right skills for getting maximum value from the interview process. So the “good fit” effort takes yet another hit.

With these two key areas suffering, the station of last resort is the look and feel test. Does the candidate look and feel like the right person for the job? Sadly, this often takes us back to the untrained interviewer who merely decides to hire someone who looks like or thinks like they do, assuming that alignment of core values and ideals will work.

Struck any nerves yet?
Have I touched any nerves yet? How’s your good fit guy doing so far?

Yes, good fit selection is a far more complex challenge for companies and their job seeker candidates. Even more important is the unit manager who gets involved in the selection process.

Finding true good fit requires the ability to properly identify what that means to the company and the team. Jim Collins in his “Good to Great” talks about this challenge as ‘getting the right people on the bus’. Once your company defines its core value and vision, there will be key individuals with unique talent who can make things happen. Hiring anyone short of that impacts the final outcome, not to mention the headache and liability of releasing a “bad fit” employee.

The popular Entrepreneurs Operating System or “EOS” describes doing a kind of per seat analysis throughout the organization. First, you tie the roles and responsibilities off each workstation to the overall company mission/vision. You set a value for each position; value contributed to the company or worth of each slot. Then and only then, do you take a look at the person filling that seat or being recruited for the seat. Does the person have the skills and abilities to deliver on the expectations you previously defined for that position? Now that is fit.

Solutions
There are several emerging ways companies are trying to do more for good fit hiring. Here are a few of the main ideas.

Basic Skills Testing
Many of my client companies have developed basic skills testing to determine a candidates ability to meet baseline requirements. Sadly, there are companies that need good solid workers with basic skills, but too few job seekers can demonstrate core skills like reading, math, and simple logic.

One president of a local manufacturer told me he’s adopted both a skills test and one VERY basic math question for every interview. He takes a piece of paper and writes a five digit number like 52,698. He hands that to the candidate and asks “what is 10% of that number?” This executive swears that after conducting maybe 800 interviews in his career, less than 100 candidates could answer that question. [The answer is 5,269.8]

At one of the companies I owned, we developed a test for job seekers. We had a sample file folder that had numerous documents pertaining to the work we did. The seeker was given a checklist and told to find the applicable document from the folder, stack the file according to the checklist, and tell us if something was missing. A person with reasonable skills could finish the file in 20 minutes. Anyone who didn’t really know the work had no way to fake it.

Personality Traits
Ever since Karl Jung first developed his 4 part personality classification system, there have been spin-off theories that are widely adopted by major corporations. These include DISC, Myers Briggs MBTI (R), and Birkman testing. While the Jung-based psychology gives interesting personality indicators, the complexities of human thinking and its far-reaching impact in the workplace can only be counted as a starting point. Whether someone scores an INTJ or ENFT will only go so far in helping a manager make a good fit decision.

The whole notion of personality assessment having a scale for introvert versus extrovert is under heavy scrutiny now. There is a body of work being studied that suggests “ambiverts” (people who demonstrate either both tendency depending on the situation) represent a bigger segment of the workforce, plus they have been proven to be better performers.

Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence testing or “EI” has become a popular topic for defining and exploring better fit conditions. We probably know people who are masters at managing their emotions. They don’t get angry in stressful situations. Instead, they have the ability to look at a problem and calmly find a solution. They’re excellent decision makers, and they know when to trust their intuition. Regardless of their strengths, however, they’re usually willing to look at themselves honestly. They take criticism well, and they know when to use it to improve their performance.

People like this have a high degree of emotional intelligence or EI. They know themselves very well, and they’re also able to sense the emotional needs of others.

For example, one large cosmetics company recently revised their hiring process for salespeople to choose candidates based on their EI. The result? People hired with the new system have sold, on average, $91,000 more than salespeople selected under the old system. There has also been significantly lower staff turnover among the group chosen for their EI.

Cultural Fit
Companies seeking to define their own culture must identify candidates who fit that culture. Whether the elements are work ethic, training, expertise, or attitude, the company’s culture helps define fit.

From Entrepreneur Magazine :

There’s no denying that cultural fit is important but make sure you actually know what it is before judging candidates. It’s easy to mistake cultural fit for personal biases – just because you wouldn’t mind being stuck in an airport with a candidate doesn’t necessarily mean he’s a great fit for your company.A candidate’s approach shouldn’t be so divisive that it creates rifts among employees, but you shouldn’t be afraid to hire somebody whose personality clashes with your own. If you perceive that a candidate would make a meaningful contribution to your company while maintaining decorum, that candidate might be a cultural match.

The Bigger Question
Good fit ultimately comes down to being able to harness the power of your mind’s attention and your heart’s affection. Managers tapping into the hearts and minds of their team will yield the greatest results. Having employees who are not open to contributing at that level will never be a good fit.

Using the tools mentioned above can give insight into ways people might fit well with your team. However, your own ability as the leader to direct, inspire and instill fit within your team is your biggest task.

How To Keep Your Employee Motivated

Employees are considered as the backbone of an organization and hence it becomes really important to keep them motivated towards their job. Different organizations play different cards to keep their employees motivated and engaged so that they can get those happy and positive faces around. If you are lacking somewhere and wondering that why your employees are not motivated enough then this article may assist you with the proper information. There are some ways with the help of which you too can keep your employees motivated and get that fully charged work environment in your office.

1. Provide supportive leadership:
Leadership is the main ingredient of the employee motivation. To keep your employees/staff motivated and fully charged you need to provide them total support and strength from your end. You first need to understand that there is a huge difference between leadership and ruling; if you are the leader of any group then first you have to understand the calibre and skills of your team, then you have to think and act according to what they are trying to put in front of you. A good leader always assists his/her team first and about anything else.

2. Empower the individual:
Team appreciation is good because the team is power, but that doesn’t mean that there is no need for individual appreciation. Empowering an individual is as important as providing them salaries for their work. It is very necessary to tell and show every employee that they are valued and have done really good. No one wants to a faceless personality wearing the mask of a team, every individual has its own personality and hence deserve appreciation for work as well as right to be valued by the company, manager etc.

3. Create a positive environment:
To keep your house clean you sweep out all the impurities and dirt out of your house, the same method goes for the company and its employees to keep your office environment happy and positive you first need to create a positive environment for your employees. Creating a positive environment can directly lead to fully charged motivated employees and can increase productivity, revenue, and quality of work.

4. Encourage teamwork:
It is very important to acknowledge the employees about their performance and motivate them but another equally important thing is to encourage them towards the teamwork and benefits linked to it. Teamwork is always result oriented and provides a quick solution with a variety of ideas and solutions. Teamwork can save a lot of time and can also provide the company with the type of output it is looking for.

5. Recognize & reward:
It is very important for any boss, leader, manager, or organization to understand the need of recognizing the candidate for his or her good work and rewarding them for the same. Every employee loves to get praised for their work and want some kind of appreciation, rewards, bonus or incentives in return of his or her outstanding work. In this scenario, if he or she gets the same of what they wish for then it will motivate them and will let them work with more enthusiasm and passion.

6. Knock out boredom:
It is very important to keep the employee engaged in various activities in the organization other than the normal work. Employees get bored and tired of doing the same work daily and hence they need some kind of engagement activities with the help of which they too can get enough dose of entertainment and fun. If you want some really motivated and happy employees you definitely need to provide them with some activities which can kick their boredom out.

7. Eliminate dissatisfaction:
Dissatisfaction may arise due to many reasons be it any. Satisfied employees can provide more productivity and ideas in comparison to the dissatisfied ones. So to get fully motivated employees you need to hear them, their queries and should provide measures to solve their issues.

Keep Your Business Grow in Tight Budget

Lately I’ve had the opportunity to connect with some amazing individuals that are on the cusp of something great. The challenge is how to build you business while on a budget. It’s funny what a taboo word that is, in fact many times our new clients don’t even want to bring it up. Money is an awkward conversation, and I get that.

But what’s more awkward is having the feeling that you’re not meeting the client’s needs or causing them stress, because the conversation around budget hasn’t been honestly had. You’d be surprised, in our conversations, the brainstorming sessions that occur, all around concepts the client can do themselves, with little or no expense. Right off the top, there are numerous community organizations that are looking for guest speakers to offer workshops, they manage all of the promotion, can fill seats, and while it may not be a big revenue stream, it can be a source for testimonials and referrals. Sometimes you don’t know until you ask!

So how do you grow your business, on a budget. Here are our top 5 tips:

  1. Understand what your time is worth – and use it wisely. If you know an hour of your time can be billed for $100 and hour, and you just spent an hour on Facebook checking out what your friends have been up to – then that hour on Facebook just cost you $100. Was it worth it?
  2. Have disciplined office hours – set an alarm, get up, get dressed and get to work. Have a start time and an end time, and do not do laundry, get groceries, vacuum etc. during work hours. If you wouldn’t do it at the office, don’t do it from your home office. Don’t multi-task – FOCUS!
  3. Take an inventory of what you do really well and love to do, and what takes you too long and is outside of your skillset. If you spend too much time trying to figure it out, how much is it costing you versus the investment of having someone else do it for you. Virtual Assistants are great for that, have flexible hours, and because they don’t work just for you, they can work as much or as little as you need. In your first discussion with a VA, get the budget discussion out of the way, you may be surprised the suggestions and resources they can pull in to keep you on track.
  4. It takes a team! Now, I don’t mean a team of support staff (although you’ll get to that point), but align yourself with individuals that compliment your business, that you can refer people to and they can return the favor!
  5. Balance – succeeding doesn’t mean working 24/7, even if sometimes it feels that way! Balance work time with family time, office time with networking time. Let that balance change as your business does, and accept that it can change. What does balance have to do with budget? Absolutely nothing. But it is one of the most important skills a business owner needs to have, without balance you have burnout, burnout causes distraction, and lack of focus costs you.

And a bonus tip – if you know you’re going to have downtime, between appointments out of the office, reach out to a colleague and reconnect over coffee. Use that downtime to keep your network warm, your name out there, and your pipeline building. Having a cup of coffee with a colleague, may cost you an extra coffee, but having coffee alone, could cost you an opportunity.

Tricks To Choose Logistics Company

If you are going to choose a good logistics carrier, know that this is going to be an important decision. The aim of most people is to look for a reliable and cost-effective solution so you can meet your needs. The reason is that if you build good business relationships, your company will keep growing. Therefore, if you have been looking for a good third party logistics party, you should find out what you should search for. Given below are a few factors that should be taken into account when hiring a good provider. Read on to know more.

1. Quality

As far as logistics goes, what carries the most importance is quality and price. Apart from this, you may want to take into account the additional value that you can get from a higher investment. Find out if the cheap provider can be relied upon. Is he friendly? What you need to make sure is that the provider should be a quality service provider. Even if you have to pay a bit more for quality, we suggest that you do so because this will save you a lot more money down the road.

2. Customer Service

Nowadays, the demand for customer service is higher than before. Moreover, with the advent of social media sites, you can easily find out what others have been thinking about. Moreover, reading reviews can also help you know what previous clients think about a certain provider. So, reading reviews is a good idea if you want to do some useful research.

3. Technology

Good companies keep latest IT equipment because they want to stay competitive. While doing your research, you may want to find out if they have a good customer portal. Make sure that the company has a fleet tracking system so you can rest assured that your goods are on the way. You may also want to ask the provider if they have the best processes and systems in place.

4. Convenience

One reason people use a logistics provider is convenience. Make sure the office of the company is not far away from where you operate your business. Based on their business demands, they should have the required vehicles. Moreover, they also should have warehousing space to meet your needs. Their warehouses should be efficient and modern.

5. Reliability

Reliability is of the utmost importance. So, make sure your provider is a reliable one. They should not let you down. The aim of the company should be to get the job done well. The company should be trustworthy and should aim for a mutually beneficial relationship. Make sure that the provider knows the challenges involved in the job. Moreover, they must have good reputation. The success rate of the company should also be high.

So, if you don’t know, we suggest that you consider the highlights of a good logistics company. So, if you have been looking for a good company, don’t forget to consider all the important factors explained in this article.

Things You Must Do Before Creating Exhibit

Everything that markets your business should be carefully selected. This means you learn about the business you trust to create exhibits for you. There is a vast difference in skills, pricing, customer services, communication, and other elements when it comes to any exhibitions company. Putting that important project into the wrong hands can spell disaster.

You can’t rely on luck, you have to be proactive. You need to take your time to find out all you can about the business before you hire them. If you can’t verify they have experience and integrity, keep on looking. Don’t be enticed by a provider offing to rush the job for you or slashing the cost either. They may talk a good talk, but the actions are often lacking.

Skills Offered

Identify who you would be working with and the skills they offer. When it comes to a exhibitions company, you may be working with one person, a pair of people, or a whole crew. You need to know who to talk to and about the skills they all bring to the table. You also need to find out about the types of technology they use in their business.

Prices

The cost shouldn’t be hidden, but discussed once they know what you need and give you options of what they can deliver. You don’t need any exhibitions company giving you a high pressure, fast speed sales pitch. You need a realistic view of what you can expect, what they will charge you, and when they will deliver that finished product for you to use.

Since you have a timetable to use the materials, it is essential you can get the work done on time. This is also why you can’t wait until you are close to the deadline to find a great exhibitions company. You need to search early so you don’t feel under pressure to rush and choose one. You also need to feel confide they have enough time to get the job done correctly.

Customer Service

You should expect excellent customer service from any exhibitions company. If they don’t answer your emails or return your phone calls early on, what makes you think they can complete the project for you? Pay attention to how you are treated and the image the business has. They need to be action and detail oriented, not treat you like just another way to make money.

Communication

In order for any exhibitions company to do well, they need to offer outstanding communication. This includes listening to what you want and what you don’t want. It includes sharing feedback and ideas with you. Of course, they know you may love some of them and criticize others, but that is part of the process. The back and forth communication can help you to get the best!

Individualized Project

Everything they talk about, share with you, and show you for the images needs to be individualized. It needs to fully embrace and reflect your business and what it stands for. It shouldn’t be something that could easily fit any other business within your niche. Instead, it should be one of a kind. It should fully engage those who see it and bring them over.

Once they are at the booth, they can ask questions, review materials you have with you, and even get a business card. They will go away thinking about how great your business is and they will need to get in touch with you later. Those contacts you make often turn into customers if you play your cards right.